Potential No. 1 NBA draft pick LaMelo Ball and his manager Jermaine Jackson have purchased his Australian NBL team, the Illawarra Hawks, Jackson told ESPN on Thursday.
Ball arrived in Australia in August as part of the league’s Next Stars program and established himself as a strong candidate to be the top pick in the 2020 NBA draft.
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The 6-foot-7 point guard averaged 17.0 points, 7.5 rebounds and 7.0 assists in 12 games with the Hawks, posting back-to-back triple-doubles before a foot injury ended his season.
Ball enjoyed his time in Australia so much that he decided to make the country a part of his long-term future, especially when financial issues threatened the team.
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